These Live 2021 NFL Draft Grades will be posted minutes after each pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Follow @walterfootball
2021 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16
| Picks 17-32
| NFL Draft Team Grades
2021 NFL Mock Draft
Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Farrell, TE, Ohio State - D Grade
Luke Farrell is not someone I had on my radar as a draftable prospect. The Jaguars needed to address their hole at tight end - and not because Gerald Everett left - but there were many better players at the position.
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New York Jets: Jamien SHerwood, S, Auburn - D Grade
Jamal Adams is gone, but Jamien Sherwood is probably not going to be the guy to replace him. Sherwood is a bad athlete, and it could be argued that he may have to move to linebacker. I didn't have him as a draftable prospect.
Houston Texans: Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami - A+ Grade
I can't believe the Texans made a great pick! Brevin Jordan is someone I consistently slotted in the second or third round, so this is tremendous value. Jordan isn't the best athlete, but he'll likely be a better player than Jordan Akins, who can't stop dropping passes.
Atlanta Falcons: Ta'Quon Graham, DT, Texas - C Grade
I went back and forth between slotting Ta'Quon Graham in the final rounds and not. He didn't make it into the final rounds of my mock. This is sort of an underwhelming pick, but it's not a terrible one, as Atlanta needed to help its defensive line.
Cincinnati Bengals: Evan McPherson, K, Florida - C Grade
I hate kicker picks in the first three rounds, and I'm not a fan of them in the fourth frame. The fifth round is just OK, but know that kickers grow on trees. There's a tree outside my house, and there are four kickers growing on it right now.
Philadelphia Eagles: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis - A+ Grade
There was some chatter that the Eagles would pick a running back in the second round, which would have been a dumb decision. This is a much better avenue to address the position. Running back wasn't a need at all, but Kenneth Gainwell was one of the top players available, so he'll be a nice insurance policy for Miles Sanders.
Chicago Bears: Larry Borom, OT/G, Missouri - C+ Grade
Larry Borom was announced as a tackle, but I think he'll have to move to guard in the NFL. This is just fine because the Bears drafted Teven Jenkins and have a need at guard. This is a bit of a reach, but now that we've entered the fifth round, that doesn't matter too much.
Denver Broncos: Caden Sterns, S, Texas - A Grade
Caden Sterns is a great athlete who had a tremendous start to his Texas career, but an injury derailed his collegiate career. This is a great value pick because if Sterns gets healthier, he could perform like he did in his early days at Texas.
Cleveland Browns: Tony Fields, LB, West Virginia - B+ Grade
Here's another linebacker for the Browns to help neutralize Lamar Jackson. Tony Fields is an undersized player, and he's not very athletic, but he was very productive at West Virginia. I had him in the fourth round in some updates.
New York Jets: Michael Carter, S, Duke - D Grade
Did the Jets just become the first team to draft two players with the same name in the same draft? That fact is more interesting than this prospect. Michael Carter is not a very good athlete, and I didn't have him in any of my mock drafts. The Jets have made some dubious defensive back picks lately.
San Francisco 49ers: Jaylon Moore, OT, Western Michigan - B Grade
Trent Williams was re-signed, but his health is unreliable. The 49ers needed to find an insurance policy for Williams, and this is a fine one. I had Jaylon Moore in the fifth or sixth rounds of my updates, so the range makes sense for Moore.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE/DT, Wisconsin - F Grade
Isaiahh Loudermilk has a cool name, but that's about it. I've had him in the seventh round, so I don't hate the value. The problem is that the Steelers traded way up for him. Teams weren't dying to draft this guy, so there's no reason for the Steelers to squander resources for a player without a natural position because he's a tweener.
Minnesota Vikings: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, WR, Iowa - B Grade
Ihmir Smith-Marsette is a speedy receiver who actually fills a slight need for the Vikings. Minnesota obviously has two studs at the position, but nothing else, so insurance was needed. This is about the right range fr Smith-Marsette, who generated some buzz in the final couple of months of the pre-draft process.
Carolina Panthers: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa - A+ Grade
I was wondering when Daviyon Nixon would come off the board. I had him slotted in the third round, so this value is incredible. Daviyon Nixon is a good athlete who can generate pressure and also help stuff the run. This is a great pick.
Los Angeles Chargers: Brenden Jaimes, OT/G, Nebraska - C Grade
Brenden Jaimes is a good athlete for a tackle, but the problem is that he's a tweener. He's not lengthy enough to be a tackle, and he doesn't seem to be strong enough to be a guard. I'm not sure where he fits in with the Chargers.
Baltimore Ravens: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State - A Grade
Wow, this is quite the fall for Shaun Wade. I had him slotted way earlier in my mock draft last summer and the fall, but he got torched mercilessly in 2020. Perhaps he can rebound, so I really like the Ravens buying low on him.
Buffalo Bills: Tommy Doyle, OT, Miami of Ohio - A Grade
Protecting Josh Allen is the most important thing, so I love this pick from that perspective. Here's another positive: I know some team was targeting Tommy Doyle in the fourth round. Perhaps they didn't take him because an unexpected player fell to them, but the Bills did well with the athletic and large Doyle, regardless.
Kansas City Chiefs: Noah Gray, TE, Duke - C- Grade
Andy Reid drafted a tight end. You don't say!? The Chiefs love running mult-tight end formations, so this pick makes sense. That said, I'm not sure why the Chiefs traded up for Noah Gray. Were there teams dying to pick Gray? I doubt it, so why did the Chiefs squander a resource for him?
Washington Redskins: Darrick Forrest, S, Cincinnati - B Grade
I've had Darrick Forrest pegged around this range for a while, so this is fine value with Darrick Forrest, who fills a slight need the Redskins had at the position as far as depth is concerned.
Denver Broncos: Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana - F Grade
Another safety? Why? I liked the Caden Sterns pick, but Jamar Johnson is not only redundant, but also a reach as well because I didn't have him in any of my mock drafts.
Indianapolis Colts: Shawn Davis, S, Florida - B+ Grade
The Colts had a need at safety, so it's about time that they addressed it. Shawn Davis was projected in the fourth round of some of my draft updates, so I like the value. We didn't have all the numbers as far as Davis' measureables are concerned, but he stood out in the Senior Bowl.
Carolina Panthers: Keith Taylor, CB, Washington - B- Grade
A second cornerback was essential for the Panthers, who have to deal with some ridiculous receivers in their division. Keith Taylor was someone I've had in the sixth round in some updates, so this range is fine for him.
Las Vegas Raiders: Nate Hobbs, CB, Illinois - C Grade
It's surprising that the Raiders waited this long to find a cornerback. This pick is also surprising because I never had Nate Hobbs in my mock drafts, however. Hobbs has high potential, so I don't hate this pick. He's extremely athletic, so perhaps the Raiders can mold him into a good player.
Minnesota Vikings: Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri - C Grade
Zach Davidson is a very good athlete, so while I never had him in my mock draft, he's at least intriguing. Perhaps he can become a productive tight end for the Vikings in the wake of Kyle Rudolph's departure.
Cleveland Browns: Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia - C Grade
Richard LeCounte was a productive player in Georgia as a tackling machine. The problem is that he's small and very unathletic, so he may not translate into the pros, unfortunately. He may have to be relegated to special teams.
Houston Texans: Garret Wallow, LB, TCU - B+ Grade
Another good pick for the Texans! What is happening? Garrett Wallow is an athletic, albeit undersized linebacker. The upside is there, however, and I had him in the fourth round, so I like this value.
Baltimore Ravens: Daelin Hayes, DE/OLB, Notre Dame - A Grade
This is Baltimore's second edge rusher, which can't be a surprise. The Ravens lost Yannick Ngakoue and Matthew Judon, so they had to replace them. Daelin Hayes is a nice value pick; I've had him pegged in the fourth round.
San Francisco 49ers: Deommodore Lenoir, CB, Oregon - B Grade
This is the 49ers' second cornerback, which is a logical pick because of the players they lost at the position this offseason. I've had Deommodore Leonoir around this range in my mock draft, so this is a fine selection.
Green Bay Packers: Tedarrell Slaton, NT, Florida - A+ Grade
I love this value. Tedarrell Slaton has some concerns with possible weight issues, but he's drawn some comparisons to D.J. Reader. He'll be a monstrous run stuffer, and he provides a bit of pass-rushing upside at his massive size. Slaton could have gone in the third round without complaints from me.
Los Angeles Rams: Earnest Brown, DE/DT, Northwestern - D Grade
Another defensive lineman makes sense to compensate for the Michael Brockers departure, but I didn't have Earnest Brown as a draftable prospect. The Rams could have done much better than this.
New York Jets: Jason Pinnock, CB, Pittsburgh - B+ Grade
The Jets need as many cornerbacks as possible to deal with all of Josh Allen's receivers. Jason Pinnock is an athletic and tall (6-1, 204) cornerback with plenty of potential. I like this high-upside pick for the Jets.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K.J. Britt, LB, Auburn - B Grade
K.J. Britt is a two-down linebacker because he's going to struggle in coverage, but we're nearing the end of the fifth round, so it's OK to take a player like that with this pick. Britt will help in run support.
New England Patriots: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan - B Grade
The Patriots had severe issues at linebacker last year, so it's surprising that they waited this long to address the position. Cameron McGrone may have been slotted at the end of the fifth round of one of my updates, so the value is OK.
Green Bay Packers: Shemar Jean-Charles, CB, Appalachian State - C+ Grade
Shemar Jean-Charles is a small and slow cornerback (5-10, 184), which is not ideal. However, he could be stationed in the slot as an instinctive, high-effort player. I didn't have Jean-Charles drafted, but he makes some sense for the Packers.
Dallas Cowboys: Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford - A Grade
For the second year in a row, the Cowboys spent a great value pick on receiver without needing to address the position very much. Simi Fehoko was pegged in the fourth round, so this is a steal. Amari Cooper won't be around much longer, so Fehoko could start in the future.
San Francisco 49ers: Talanoa Hufanga, S, USC - B+ Grade
Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Matthew Stafford... the 49ers obviously needed to address the secondary. Talanoa Hufanga was someone I mocked in the fourth round, so I'm definitely a fan of this value.
Kansas City Chiefs: Cornell Powell, WR, Clemson - B Grade
The Chiefs lost Sammy Watkins in free agency, so they'll need a receiver to compete with the disappointing Mecole Hardman. Cornell Powell is someone who bounced around Day 3 of my mock draft updates, so the value is fine.
Atlanta Falcons: Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE, Notre Dame - C Grade
I never had Adetokunbo Ogundeji in any of my mock draft updates, but he nearly made the cut on several occasions. This pick is just OK, as the Falcons could have done better to address a big need for an edge rusher.
Atlanta Falcons: Avery Williams, CB, Boise State - C+ Grade
The Falcons needed another cornerback, but Avery Williams is going to be more of a special-teams player. He's a small cornerback I had going in the seventh round.
Baltimore Ravens: Ben Mason, FB, Michigan - B+ Grade
The Ravens are one of the few teams that still use a fullback, so they were able to get the top player at the position in this class. This is fine.
2021 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | NFL Draft Team Grades
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